Adnan ElNasan
Chair and Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, AUD

Dr. El-Nasan is the Chair and an Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the American University in Dubai (AUD). Adnan received his Ph.D. degree in 2003 in statistical pattern recognition and classification from the Electrical Computer and System Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY.   During his 12 year tenure in the US, he worked with a number of industry leaders including West Group, Thomson Publishing, and IBM Research.

Amir Yazdanpanah
Co-founder, Telarix

Amir Yazdanpanah is a hands-on IT executive with 20+ years’ experience in building and growing technology companies in UK, USA and UAE. He has served several companies as CEO, COO, and CIO. Amir is the founder/CEO of Makers Builders, a Dubai based technology Education Company focused on providing STEM and tech enrichment programmes to kids and teens. Previously, Amir co-founded Telarix, a telecom software company in the USA; he raised $9M in venture funding and successfully exited the business in 2010. 

Amitabh Tiwari
President, Infotouch Technologies

A Business Management Professional from the IT and Communications industry, Amitabh has more than 23 years business establishment and development experience in a multi-cultural, global environment. He is a specialist in Entrepreneurship and Ownership, Corporate Strategies, Executive Management, Operations Management and Advanced Negotiations. A keen business development and marketing professional, Amitabh has  experience  devising and re-engineering strategies for IT businesses.

Faisal Al Khalidi
Community Manager, PayFort

Faisal is the Content and Community Manager at PayFort. He specialises in writing content for startups and entrepreneurs, as well as website conversion rate optimization. As the community manager for PayFort, he deals directly with startups to help them monetize their business. In the past he's mentored entrepreneurs at hackathons, helping them refine their ideas to create a valid business model. 

Fayad Gilles
Director Business Development, Qualcomm

With over 10 years in new products and services development and deployment in the telecommunication industry, Gilles  focuses on the development of novel mobile services and ecosystems at Qualcomm’s regional offices in Dubai. Prior to that, he held senior management positions in technology, marketing and business development in Europe and North America at companies such as Nortel, Conexant, and Texas Instruments.

Feroz Sanaullah
Founder, Emerging Circle

Educated in the US and with work experience in US, Asia and Europe, Feroz brings a unique global perspective in building businesses. Feroz has been involved in entrepreneurial start-ups in social networking, enterprise software, consumer internet and mobility companies. He  also serves on several boards as an advisor. Feroz is the founder of Emerging Circle, a company that provides mezzanine debt to small and medium sized enterprises via syndicated lending.  He is also the co-founder of The Coding Circle, a coding initiative for kids.

Hadi Aladdin
Co-founder & CEO, CoursePer Inc.
Hadi Aladdin (Co-founder & CEO, CoursePeer Inc. and ArabCode.org) is a Dubai-born Canadian entrepreneur, published author, speaker and start-up mentor. Over the past 10 years, Hadi has founded various ventures in North America and the Middle East including CoursePeer Inc. (www.coursepeer.com), Kula Technologies Inc. (www.getkula.com), Lifestyle Wellness International (www.lifestyle2b.com) and Organic 2.0. He sits on the boards of North American incubators, has mentored dozens of successful startups and is active on the conference circuit as a speaker.

Hamid Khafagy
Lead Cloud Advisor, IBM

Hamid Khafagy is Executive IT Architect at IBM in Dubai, UAE. He is the Lead Cloud Advisor for Middle East and Africa (MEA), driving IBM’s Cloud strategies. Hamid’s  passion for the Cloud started in the early 2008 with AWS (Amazon Web Services) and, as a hobbyist programmer, he dabbled with Heroku and Digital Ocean along the way. He’s also active on the speakers’ circle, where he talks about the Cloud and the immense opportunity it has opened for the developers’ community.

Hani Gaith
Commercial Director, QTel

Hani has worked in the Telecom and Digital industries since 1999, starting from  mobile devices and going all the way to quadruple play applications, products, and services passing through Transmission and Core technologies. He has led diverse multicultural teams in researching, designing, building, commercialising and delivering services for mobile, internet, and fixed customers. He has over  15 years of  experience building teams, establishing strategic partnerships, and delivering results in both start-ups and established corporations.

Hidayath Ali
Sustainability Expert, Masdar City

Hidayath has worked with Sustainability in the built environment from a number of vantage points ranging  from facility developers and operators to contractors. Hidayath is currently a Senior Consultant advising a variety of stakeholders across the Middle East on sustainability issues. Hidayath's specialties involve both the design and construction as well as the operation of green buildings. Hidayath is a staunch believer that innovation and technology have a key role to play in helping the world transition to a more sustainable future. 

Hijazi Natsheh
Head of Middle East, Cleartrip

Hijazi Natsheh is an award-winning manager who trained as an engineer and ultimately decided to focus on marketing and innovation. Currently, he is Head of Marketing for the Middle East at Cleartrip, developing and delivering market entry strategies designed to build Cleartrip into the leading online travel brand in the Middle East region.

Ibrahim Elbadawi
Exantium

Ibrahim Ahmed Elbadawi is the Co-founder and Managing Director at Exantium. With over 10 years of multidisciplinary working experience in the government and non-government sectors in addition to the research field, his key passion is to cultivate government innovation with focus on technology as a key enabler.  Ibrahim has successfully initiated or led many distinguished initiatives including the launch of the first government data portal in the region and designing the social media policy for the UAE government.

Imad Choucair
Founder & Chief Architect, Qinnovation

Imad Choucair is a researcher, a global CIO, and Founder & CEO of Dubai Internet City based company Qinnovation FZ LLC. As a doctoral learner, Imad’s latest research work includes applying technologies for enhancing the overall design and alignment of organisations.  During his tenure as the CIO at Dubai Holding, Imad led the successful implementation of CRM, ERP and other projects. Prior to this, he was the General Manager of Microsoft’s largest partner for business applications in the Middle East, winning the Microsoft Inner Circle Award and best consulting and sales partner for the entire Middle East region.

Jad Hindy
Founder, Engaged Brands

Jad is a  Brand and Communication Consultant and an active Entrepreneur, advising several startups and companies on branding, communication and digital marketing. He founded Netizency and Col New Media. He has  served as Regional Director of Innovation and Digital Strategy at Leo Burnett, Head of Brand and Marketing at Virgin Mobile Qatar and Vice President of Marketing Communications at du.

Jean Luc
Sustainability Expert, Ericsson

A telecommunications veteran with more than 18 years experience in the Mobile Industry, Jean-Luc Scherer’s expertise crosses multiple domains ranging  from Mobile Application Development, to Social Media, Big Data, M2M and Internet of Things. Passionate about the Networked Society, Jean-Luc is a regular blogger, social media content curator and  a  speaker at IoT and Smart City industry events. As an entrepreneur, innovation coach and startup mentor, Jean-Luc can help startups from the initial concept development phase all the way to a successful market introduction. He is a Mentor at Turn8 and Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi.

John Mushhriqui
Managing Partner, Validity

John is an expert in Innovation, Change Management, Leadership, and Strategy Implementation, with almost 15 years’ experience across a diverse range of industries/sectors such as governmental, telecom, aerospace and defense, pharmaceutical, and banking. Most recently John served as the CEO of a US Aerospace and Defense Company, Tego Texi Tectum, where he primarily worked with Governmental sectors in the Middle East Region and the US, including Ministries of Interior and Ministry of Defense among many others. 

Juan Jose De La Torre
VP of Strategy, Intigral, Afkar

JJ de la Torre is a Digital, Telco and Media senior executive with more than 15 years of experience across America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He has worked for global multinationals like Orange, TeliaSonera, Etisalat, Booz&Company and has created and successfully traded three start-ups. JJ combines a unique blend of corporate, consulting and entrepreneurial experience. The founder of afkar.me (MENA’s 360 degrees incubator and accelerator), an angel investor and startup mentor, JJ is currently the VP Digital at Intigral, one of the largest Digital companies in MENA.

Karim Mourabet
Founder, Dubai Tech Startups

Karim Mourabet is a solutions consultant, with years of experience in financial institutions, fashion applications and construction software among others. With a background in finance and project management, Karim developed a strong interest in software solutions, and start-ups later on. With the experience gained from working with a few start-ups in Saudi and Lebanon, he began studying the start-up world through online courses, readings and conferences. This led to the founding of City Tech Startups, the company that runs DubaiTechStartups.

Mohamed Abdeljalil
Managing Director and Co-founder, iPhoneIslam & App3ad

Mohamed is a Managing Director and Co-founder at MIMV, the holding company of iPhoneIslam & App3ad. He brings over 12 years of extensive business experience in both the corporate and the entrepreneurial arena. Prior to MIMV, he was responsible for Mobility Solutions Sales at Microsoft, managing Microsoft devices business in the MEA region.  Before Microsoft, Mohamed was among a team of four who established Nokia Regional office back in 2006. His last role was as Business Development Manager for Near East and North Africa running Nokia Ecosystem and Partner Engagement, where he led the launch of the first Nokia Mobile Lab in MEA.  

Philip Spark
Director, ICanDo52 Innovating Government & SMEs

Philip Sparks is CEO and Co-founder of ICanDo52. Philip is a diversely experienced leader, executive, professor of innovation/business execution and management consultant with ability to understand complexity of “Enterprise” GRC from boardroom to technical implementation in a short period of time in government, military and private sector. He has authored  over 15 programmes in Risk Management, Cyber Security,  Executive Development,  Innovation and ICT.  He is currently focusing on the  development of a framework, ICanDo52, which integrates Business Risk Management with Innovation, Education, and ICT to build  better financial and socioeconomic advantage.

Predrag Lucic
Senior Architect, IBM

Predrag Lucic joined IBM in 1995 as Unix Support Specialist in Ljubljana Slovenia, which is also his country of origin. In 2002, he moved to IBM in Dubai, UAE where he held  a dozen  leadership positions, mainly in Software and Technical Sales. In his current position, he is leading a Business Unit responsible for building an Ecosystem of IBM Cloud Partners in Middle East and Africa. Before IBM, he used to be involved in Mechanical Engineering domain, developing and manufacturing high-tech equipment used in civil and military applications.

Rami Sariddine
Technical Evangelist | Author, Mcirosoft

Rami Sarieddine is a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft. He is the author of 2 books on HTML5 and JavaScript technologies. With more than 7 years of experience in developing software and web solutions, Rami is also a Microsoft Certified Professional in Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions and was awarded Microsoft Valued Professional (MVP) twice.

Sameer Sortur
Founder & CEO, Square Circle Tech

Sameer Sortur has 15+ years senior level consulting & management experience from both Technology Buy & Sell sides. In his current position as the Founder & CEO of Square Circle Tech, he focusses on  launching disruptive tech enterprises in the MEA & APAC markets from Investing and operating standpoint. Sameer’s specialities include new market identification & entry strategies for tech companies, entrepreneurship development, coaching and mentoring, creating entrepreneur friendly ecosystems and launching technology events in MEA, creating sales readiness execution infrastructure, global programme management, strategic planning & advisory, enterprise software solutions outreach, M&A facilitation and growth structuring, and value engineering.

Samer Geissah
Vice President Consumer Home & Multimedia Services Commercial, du

Samer Geissah is Vice President of Home and Multimedia Services at du. With over 20 years of both operator and vendor experience, Samer is currently responsible for driving the Consumer Home and Multimedia segment in the Commercial Marketing department.  He is responsible for the home voice, broadband and IPTV service in addition to the national WiFi propositions. Prior to this, Samer inspired the Innovation team which delivered all of du’s digital portfolio products and apps in 2013. Samer has held several positions in technology as VP Core and VAS Engineering teams responsible for the Fixed, Mobile, International, IPTV and IP Telephony Core and VAS networks in du.

Shadi Al Hasan
CEO and Founder, Flagship projects FZ LLC

Shadi Hasan is the  CEO and Founder of Flagship Projects FZ LLC, Adworx Advertising and Communication Network and Rufoof Online. He is a brand experience expert and  a top-tier leader ranked among  top professionals in the UAE and across the region. Shadi is a pragmatic entrepreneur who understands the impact of user experience in apps. He has a special interest in the development of Smart Government apps based on innovative ideas.

Sirine Fadoul
Manager - Incubation Center Technology Investment, Dubai Silicon Oasis

As Incubation Manager at Silicon Oasis Founders (SOF) – a tech startups incubator, Sirine works closely with entrepreneurs providing them with strategic and operational mentorship and coaching in addition to assisting them with their follow-on funding campaigns. Prior to joining SOF, Sirine has launched and managed two startups in Dubai. She has more than 12 years of Business Development and Marketing experience in Europe and the MENA region. She is a founding member of Girls in Tech Middle East and a Mentor and Coach for the  Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Mentoring Women Programme.

Shadi Al Hasan
CEO and Founder, Flagship projects FZ LLC

Shadi Hasan is the  CEO and Founder of Flagship Projects FZ LLC, Adworx Advertising and Communication Network and Rufoof Online. He is a brand experience expert and  a top-tier leader ranked among  top professionals in the UAE and across the region. Shadi is a pragmatic entrepreneur who understands the impact of user experience in apps. He has a special interest in the development of Smart Government apps based on innovative ideas.

Victor Kiriakos
Director, Intigral

Victor is the Director of the innovation platform Afkar.me which is part of Intigral the largest digital media service company in MENA. Afkar.me is an incubator/accelerator of early stage digital start-ups based in Dubai. After setting up the accelerator and gaining traction in Dubai, Victor introduced the innovation as a service concept which helps traditional companies leverage innovation (open and internal) to improve their market positioning. He is currently setting up InspireU which is an Incubator/ accelerator for Saudi Telecom Company, the region’s largest Telecom operator.

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